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21

Halliburton Overestimated Its Work

That percentage was significantly higher than it was on work by other firms in Iraq

Administrative overhead accounted for more than half the costs that a Halliburton Co. subsidiary passed on to the government under a key contract to restore Iraq's oil industry, a figure that critics said was unusually high.

A report released yesterday by the inspector general's office overseeing Iraq spending found that at least 55 percent, or $163 million, of $296 million in total costs rung up by Halliburton unit KBR went to expenses such as back-office support, transportation and security.

That percentage was significantly higher than it was on work by other firms in Iraq, and experts said it is far above what is typically found on a government contract.

The findings are the latest that call into question KBR's work under the deal, which required the company to rehabilitate oil facilities in southern Iraq. Under the contract's terms, KBR is reimbursed for its costs and then receives a percentage for profit on top, an arrangement that critics contend has given the firm an incentive to run up its bills.